PML-N, PPP agree on no-trust move against PM Imran

Both parties decide to work together to oust PTI-led govt

Our Correspondent February 05, 2022


The PML-N and the PPP on Saturday agreed to make joint efforts and use every option at their disposal to oust the PTI-led government, while the former also promised to give consideration to the latter’s suggestion of moving a no-confidence motion in parliament.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif invited PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his father, former president and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, to his residence in Model Town, Lahore for lunch.

The meeting was also attended by PML-N Vice Presidents Maryam Nawaz and Hamza Shehbaz, MNA Khawaja Saad Rafique and central spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb. PPP Punjab General Secretary Hasan Murtaza was also there accompanying his party leadership.

Ahead of the two long marches, one announced by the PPP for February 27 and other announced by the PML-N and its allied parties under the platform of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) for March 23, which the government side did not see as a serious threat to its existence, the two sides mainly discussed joining forces during their respective protests.

During the meeting, the PML-N also agreed to consider the option that it had long refused to entertain -- moving a no-confidence motion in parliament.

The PML-N side told the PPP that it would take its no-trust proposal to its central executive committee meeting and later with the permission of party supremo Nawaz Sharif, to the platform of the PDM to build a broader consensus on the move.

Later while talking to the media, Shehbaz, flanked by Bilawal and Maryam among other participants of the meeting, said the PML-N had agreed on a common agenda with the PPP of working together for sending the PTI-led government packing.

Read: "‘Feb 27 long march will be last nail in PTI govt's coffin’"

“Every political party has its own manifesto and its own approach. However in times of extreme crisis, political parties should come together for the greater good,” he added.

The leader of the opposition in the National Assembly said with the livelihoods of people in extreme peril, history would not forgive them if they did not come together now and agree on a common agenda to play a responsible role.

The PML-N president said the PPP had a very clear approach for taking the government down, but his party was divided on the matter.

He added that hopefully they would be able to create a consensus in his party on the issue.

The PML-N president requested Nawaz to call a party meeting with the objective of building a consensus.
He said the PML-N and PPP had a history of working together, citing the Charter of Democracy which was signed in Saudi Arabia.

Shehbaz then talked at length about the government’s failure over the Kashmir issue.

Talking to the media, Bilawal thanked Shehbaz for inviting him, his father and the party Punjab general secretary to his residence. He also thanked Maryam and Rafique.

He said it was their first meeting with the PML-N after their party’s central executive committee meeting.
He added they had put forward their proposals to suggest a way forward as well as the central executive committee’s decisions. “The PML-N will discuss our suggestions internally to make its final decision.”

Lauding the role played by Shehbaz during times of a rift in the opposition camp, Bilawal said despite the ups and downs in ties, the PML-N president played his role as a leader to keep the parties united.

He said people had lost their trust in the government and parliament should also follow suit by moving a no-confidence motion against the government.

He added that other than protest, the legal and constitutional option of ousting the government was a no-confidence motion. “We hope all opposition parties will agree to it soon. We are on the same page against the government.”

When asked about different road maps of protests and the previously discussed options of no-confidence and resignations that opposition parties could not agree upon, Shehbaz said they had discussed these issues during the meeting.

“We will work out a way to improve coordination between the two long marches.”

The PML-N president said there were two to three options under consideration.

He added that the PPP had shown flexibility on the matter and all these proposals would put before Nawaz for his approval.

To another question, he said the two sides had agreed on a no-confidence motion and work out differences within his own party.

Rubbishing the question on any signals from the security establishment, Shehbaz claimed they were more concerned about the plight of the people and direction in which the country was headed.

Bilawal said the two sides had welcomed each other’s marches. He added now the discussion would be to improve the relations between the two parties.

When reporter fired a volley of questions regarding differences between Maryam and Bilawal, Shehbaz mused that now he was standing in the middle and “both hearts have healed.”

Also read: Opposition seeks to 'turn tables' on govt over rare lunch

To this, Maryam responded that when it came to the expectations of the people, “we all stand united”.

When Maryam was asked about her tweet in which she giving a veiled reference about Bilawal being a “selected”, she said the “selected” was the one who would soon be shown the door.

Maryam, while speaking to reporters later, was asked that would the government be sent packing by November.

She replied that November was too far away. “This government will be shown the door before it.”

Shehbaz later spoke separately on the phone with Nawaz and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who also heads the PDM, to inform them about the meeting with the PPP leadership.

A PML-N official statement read that Shehbaz had taken his elder brother into confidence and convened a meeting of the party's central executive committee on February 7 (Monday).

Another statement read that Shehbaz had talked to the JUI-F chief and told him that he would take him into confidence in a face-to-face meeting in the coming days.

The statement added that the decision to convene a PDM meeting was taken in the light of discussions between the two leaders. However, the date for the meeting would be announced after further consultations.

A PML-N leader disclosed that it was decided during the meeting that the no-confidence move will be brought against Prime Minister Imran Khan and not against the Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser.
Both parties have agreed in principle to throw weight behind each other's long marches, the leader confirmed.

However, he said the parties are yet to hammer out the details and the nature of the support they will extend to each other while  pointing out the caveat that it remains to be determined whether it is going to be an all-out support or merely a tokenised one.

“In case it is a token support, only the central leadership will attend other’s long march and if it's all-out support, each side will ensure that their workers also take part in activity," the PML-N leader explained.


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